Tribute To An Angel

As parents, we go whatever extremes necessary to protect our most precious resource……our children. We sacrifice sleep to watch over as they’re asleep; we are their greatest cheerleaders; we are their fiercest protectors; and, if necessary, we would steal to provide for their basic life essentials. My greatest personal fear is not being able to remove anything harmful from interfering with my children’s quality of life….particularly when it comes to illness. Whether it’s a common cold or a broken limb, there is a gut-wrenching feeling of helpless when a parent must depend on someone else to protect their child.

Such was the case for my niece (27 years old), who experienced this fear every day after her eight year old son. The first time that I met this young gentleman was in November 2009; and he immediately warmed my heart with his humor and natural child’s curiosity. He demonstrated wisdom beyond that of any other child that I’d encountered at his age.

He was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in September 2011. According to the American Brain Tumor Association, “DIPG is a tumor located in the middle of the brain stem which grows amid the nerves, and therefore are not able to be surgically removed.” (Learn more)

Although research has been ongoing for almost thirty years, there is still a 97 percent fatality rate. Despite the accelerated manner at which this disease claims the victim, scientist have yet to identify a cause for tumor. (Learn more) Fortunately, there has been promising results from Dr. Burzynski’s research with gene-targeting cancer medicines.

On Saturday, 25 August 2012, this little hero lost his battle with this deadly cancer.  It is a blessing to have shared a few moments of his time on this earth; and I heartened my knowing that he will watch his mother for eternity. I am in awe of my niece, because she has been the epitome of dignity and grace under inconceivable conditions. I could not predict how I would react in similar circumstances, but I would hope to capture at least a fraction of her poise and steadfast resolve. She committed to providing her precious little man with an atmosphere of tender love, comfort, and laughter during her son’s journey.

To My Little Hero

Until We Meet Again

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